Six years after NBC's experiment in merging Match Game with Hollywood Squares ended, and less than a year than the reincarnation of Squares had faded to black, ABC picked up a revamped Match Game. That was the good news. The bad news was that, like so many game shows before it, Match Game was stuffed in a lunch hour death slot. It had become such since the 70's because local stations started running news at noon in order to get some ad revenues for themselves.
Comic Ross Shafer (ex-The Late Show) was tapped to replace Gene Rayburn as host. That was another mistake. Sure, Gene was getting on in years, and had clashed with the producers of 1985's revival of Break The Bank, leading to his ouster there, but what was Match Game without Gene? Just another game show.
The game play had changed, as you'll see in the following episode. Why Mark Goodson let this happen, I don't know. Why mess with a good thing? You know what they say. If it ain't broken, you don't fix it. Oh, and trust me, it would get worse with the next and final incarnation of the series......
When GSN ran a marathon of the franchise several months back, I was finally able to sample the Shafer version. Not too bad, but they could've put it on at 11 am (ET), where more folks could've watched. Instead, it led most of the country to ABC's soap block. Meh.